Updated Feb 20, 2024 - Politics & Policy

DOJ: FBI informant said Russian intelligence involved in Hunter Biden story

hunter biden

Hunter Biden on Jan. 10 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

The FBI confidential source charged last week for allegedly providing false information about President Biden and his son Hunter Biden implicated Russian intervention, per court documents filed Tuesday.

The big picture: Alexander Smirnov, 43, admitted that "officials associated with Russian intelligence" were involved in passing a story about Hunter Biden, per the government's memorandum in support of his detention.

  • Prosecutors alleged in the filing that Smirnov told an FBI handler that the Russian Intelligence Service intercepted several cellphone calls placed at a hotel "by prominent U.S. persons the Russian government may use as 'kompromat' in the 2024 election."
  • They argued against his release, alleging that Smirnov was "actively peddling new lies that could impact U.S. elections after meeting with Russian intelligence officials in November."

Yes, but: A federal judge ruled after a detention hearing in Las Vegas that Smirnov should be released on a personal recognizance bond.

  • Smirnov's defense lawyers successfully argued that the American citizen could surrender his Israeli passport in addition to his U.S. passport and be subjected to electronic monitioring.
  • They said in a statement before the hearing that Smirnov should be released "so he can effectively fight the power of the government."

Catch up quick: Special counsel David Weiss charged Smirnov with felony false statement and obstruction crimes for providing allegedly false information about President Biden and Hunter Biden.

  • Smirnov was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Central District of California after being arrested at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Prosecutors alleged Smirnov falsely told FBI agents in June 2020 that officials with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid the Bidens $5 million each in 2015 or 2016.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details surrounding Smirnov's release from custody.

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